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Delmar Bard Residence and Carriage House


Other Names:
Bard Residence

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place
The Delmar Bard Residence and Carriage House is a two-and-a-half storey four-square house faced in stretcher bond red brick, with a square one-storey, flat-roofed addition and a detached two-storey carriage house, dating to the pre-First World War period. It occupies two-and-a-half city lots across from the Old Scona High School in the historic district of Old Strathcona.

Heritage Value
The Delmar Bard Residence and Carriage House is a significant example of an upper-middle class residence and carriage house built during Edmonton's period of growth and prosperity before the First World War. It is an important component of the historic character of Old Strathcona.

The construction of homes like the Delmar Bard residence signaled that the flourishing community of Strathcona now possessed an established and ambitious upper-middle class. The community had been growing at a rapid pace since the arrival of the Calgary-Edmonton Railway in 1891, and had amalgamated with the City of Edmonton in 1912, the year that Delmar Bard had this large residence constructed on 84th Avenue. A former Indian Agent and road inspector, Bard's fortunes rose after he settled in Strathcona in 1907 and began to invest in local businesses. He represented the kind of successful entrepreneur who profited from Alberta's booming commercial economy and real estate market between 1905 and 1913 and who wished to express his newly acquired status through a prestigious residence.

The residence is an upscale model of the four-square design with the simple, symmetrical neo-Georgian qualities, as considered appropriate for a respectable yet comfortable residence of the Edwardian period. The site includes a conspicuous conservatory, added soon after construction, and a carriage house, a rare surviving example of such a building in an urban centre. One of the grander residences of Old Strathcona, the Delmar Bard home is a prominent local landmark.

Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch (File: Des. 262)

Character-Defining Elements
Character-defining elements of the Delmar Bard Residence and Carriage House include such features as:

- landscape elements including plantings, driveway, and the spatial relationship between the buildings.

Residence exterior:
- elements of the four-square style such as: the solid massing and formal symmetry of the front facade, box-like form, pyramidal roof, bracketed bellcast eaves, hip bellcast dormers, front full-width open veranda with round tapered posts, boxed cornice and decorative frieze, restored porch hipped roof and balcony;
- soffits, trims, and cedar roof shingles;
- patterns of fenestration including a bay window on the west facade and stained glass panels;
- materials including brick cladding, brick chimney, cast stone sills, lintels and belt coursing;
- decorative details such as dentils and decorations on the frieze board and eave brackets;
- eight-over-one single-hung windows, and three-paneled windows with stained glass transoms in the library and dining room;
- the flat-roofed brick-clad conservatory, with its solid massing, stone belt coursing, corbelled parapet, feature window, and similar window with semi-circular multi-panel fanlight transom and sidelights enclosing the entrance on the south facade;

Residence interior:
- oak wainscoting, trims, colonade and built-in features, stair and wood components, including the main staircase with a bench seat and closet;
- library details including leatherette and oak finishes with a fireplace and built-in bookcases behind decorative beveled glass doors;
- maple flooring;
- restored plaster wall and ceiling finishes.

Carriage House:
- the form and massing, including its bellcast gable roof with front gable, cupola, brick cladding on ground floor with cedar shingles continued to roof line;
- fenestration and garage doors.


Street Address: 10544 - 84 Avenue NW
Community: Edmonton
Boundaries: Portion of Lot 12 and Lots 13 and 14, Block 84, Plan I9
Contributing Resources: Buildings: 2
Landscape(s) or Landscape Feature(s): 2

ATS Legal Description:
Mer Rge Twp Sec LSD
10 (ptn.)

PBL Legal Description (Cadastral Reference):
Plan Block Lot Parcel

Latitude Longitude CDT Datum Type
53.520298 -113.502536 GPS NAD 83

UTM Reference:
Northing Easting Zone CDT Datum Type


Recognition Authority: Province of Alberta
Designation Status: Provincial Historic Resource
Date of Designation: 2000/06/30

Historical Information

Built: 1912 to 1912
Significant Date(s) N/A
Theme(s) Developing Economies : Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life : Architecture and Design
Historic Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling
Current Function(s): Residence : Single Dwelling

Strathcona, named after Donald Smith of the CPR, was first incorporated as a town in 1899. The railway had arrived there in 1891, spurring development in the area. Incorporation as a City occurred in 1907 when the population was 4,500. There was a steady growth in the residential and commercial sectors and in February 1912, when amalgamation occurred with the City of Edmonton, the population was 6,000.

The Bard house was built in 1912 for Mr. Delmar Bard, an entrepreneur who emigrated from St. Paul, Minnesota. An orphan, Bard had been 'indentured' to a farmer for his keep, but in 1896, he joined a wagon train to Alberta. He lived in several places arriving in Edmonton in 1907. The family moved to Edmonton's southside in 1907 but did not purchase the site of their future home until September 1912.

At the time of its construction, the Neo-Georgian style of the Bard house was considered to be the most appropriate architectural design for the respected gentlemen of Strathcona. It is a two-and one-half storey structure, faced with red stretcher bond brick capped by a medium-pitched hip roof. It presents a balanced, symmetrical facade typical to the Neo-Georgian style.

The Bard house was and is one of the grand residences of Strathcona and represents in its rational design and quality of detailing a house type popular throughout Canada and one which reflects a particular class of entrepreneurial businessman.


In 1891, the Calgary and Edmonton Railway arrived at the south side of the North Saskatchewan River, across from the Edmonton Settlement. Here the railway company subdivided a townsite called South Edmonton, and proceeded to set up subsidiary businesses and sell lots. South Edmonton grew to some size, as the Low Level Bridge into Edmonton was not constructed until 1900. The firm of Osler, Hammond and Nanton managed the community until 1899, when it was incorporated as the Town of Strathcona. After the turn of the century, the Town began to grow at a frantic pace, as did Edmonton, and was incorporated as a City in 1907.

Among the areas included in the original C and E Subdivision was a section of land laying south of Whyte Avenue and east of Mill Creek, earmarked for residential development. For years this district remained undeveloped. However, with the rapid expansion of the early 1900's, and the amalgamation of Strathcona with the City of Edmonton in 1912, a number of dwellings began to appear. In the buoyant economic mood of the time, certain of these were comparatively elaborate, such as the house on Lot 11, Block 84, built for Delmar Bard.

Bard was then an apparent rag to riches story, of which the district then boasted of many. Born an orphan in St. Paul Minnesota he had been 'indentured' to a farmer in his youth. In 1896, he joined a wagon train to the North-West, and settled in St. Albert. He worked at various jobs until 1905, when he became an agent at the Alexander Indian Reserve near Riviere Qui Barre. Here he married his first wife, Ella, but moved to Strathcona in 1907, where he became a roads and bridge inspector for the newly established provincial Department of Public Works. He also began to invest in local businesses, such as a meat market on Whyte Avenue, and began to accumulate some wealth.

In December 1912, Bard purchased Lot 11, Block 24 from Mary O'Keefe, whom he had known in Riviere Qui Barre. He then contracted the Keith Brothers to design a two and one-half storey Neo-Georgian house. The following year, the ornate, red brick Bard residence was built at a cost of 6,500 dollars. Its construction drew the attention of the Strathcona Plaindealer, which assured readers that the house would become 'one of the best in the city'. Over the years, the dwelling went on to become a showpiece for the community to be known as Cloverdale.

The historical significance of the Bard residence lies in its representation of the boom period in Edmonton's history, which preceded World War One. During this time, countless minor 'mansions' were built for people who had frequently come from obscure backgrounds, but had done well in the economic growth of the time. Many of these wanted to demonstrate their advanced station by building elaborate and ornate homes for their families. In the case of Bard, this included a library and a separate carriage house. The Bard residence stands out among the Edwardian homes in that it has been virtually unaltered over the years.

Additional Information

Object Number: 4665-0682
Designation File: DES 0262
Related Listing(s):
Heritage Survey File: HS 22929
Website Link:
Data Source: Alberta Culture and Community Spirit, Historic Resources Management Branch, Old St. Stephen's College, 8820 - 112 Street, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P8 (Des. 262)
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